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  • Location: Hopkins, MN
  • Favorite foods: Butter, bacon, chocolate, cheese, pasta, potatoes, pepper, bread, dumplings, and Coke. And gravy.

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Taste Test: The Best Supermarket Bacon

I would really like to see the runners-up for this. My favorite brand is Farmland, which comes in a couple different thicknesses, doesn't shrink up too much, and is just generally very delicious and balanced.

Kenji's Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List)

@Elbereth1378 the Smashburger near me definitely is not serving garlic dill pickles, the last burger I got there had a big pile of sweet pickles on it. Maybe it varies regionally? (I'm in Minnesota)

Kenji's Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List)

Wendy's fries are definitely better than they used to be, but I think they're only good right out of the fryer, just like McDonald's.
I like Smashburger but they don't have regular pickles, just bread and butter pickles! That is a total deal breaker for me. I'd rather go to Culver's for my smashed burger. Especially if you get their Wisconsin Swiss Melt where they put red onions on the griddle and smash the meat over them, then serve it on grilled caraway rye with Swiss cheese....AND you can get it with cheese curds for a side! (They have decent onion rings too. But skip the crinkle cut fries.)
And speaking of onion rings, I don't know if this is accurate but Burger King's onion rings remind me of breading filled with semi-molten onion jello. Which is not to say I don't enjoy them. They're certainly better than their miserable fries. Every time they "improve" their fries they just find a different way for them to be terrible. They used to be sort of like a crappy imitation of McDonald's, then they went to that weird invisible batter crap that gave them an odd texture and chemical aftertaste, and now they are thick and dry. There's not enough ketchup in the world to fix them.

The Food Lab: My 11 Favorite Recipes of the Year, 2014

That steaming method for hard boiled eggs was life-changing. Never have I made and peeled eggs so quickly and easily! And I'm really looking forward to trying the General Tso's recipe since that's my husband's favorite Chinese takeout item.

Turkey and Stuffing Waffle Croque-Madame Sandwich

Oh my god. I didn't think anything could be better than the stuffing waffle but this sounds so delicious. Cheese gravy!!! Cheese and gravy are two of my favorite foods, I can't believe I haven't tried mixing them together before now.

A Fast Food Thanksgiving That's Actually Delicious

I can't wait to try that potato gratin recipe. That sounds amazing!

How to Make the Best Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers

I think the point of this recipe was to make a burger that tastes like Thanksgiving, which means you'd want to use turkey instead of beef. I don't think healthy was a concern in this instance.

The Best Spiced Nuts From Trader Joe's

I love the spicy pecans! I crush them and use to coat small rounds of goat cheese that I serve on top of a beet salad with maple vinaigrette dressing.

Chewy Gluten-Free Granola Bars

I just made these and they were very easy and delicious! A few suggestions: I used salted almonds and added some dried tart cherries to the mix along with the chocolate chips. And while I was able to get it out of the pan all in one piece, it wasn't easy. Lining the pan with parchment paper or waxed paper would have made it much easier. I would definitely make this recipe again. It would be easy to change up the add-ins to get some different flavors.

Sweet Technique: How to Make Italian Meringue

@M.Birman the Italian meringue gets heated to a much higher temperature than the Swiss version (usually you heat the egg whites up to about 160 for Swiss meringue) whereas you are pouring 240 degree sugar syrup into your eggs for the Italian version. Cooking the eggs more makes the meringue a lot sturdier. (Think about cooking eggs, the more you cook them the more solid they become!)

Manner Matters: How to Share Food Without Being Rude

I don't mind sharing food/double dipping/eating off the same part that someone else bit off...but only with my friends, not with random people I don't know well. And I think it would be weird and rude for me to ask a casual acquaintance for a bite of their food if they don't offer it first.

And on the topic of getting sick: my best friend will often steal a sip of my Coke if we are out to eat. And she always uses my straw. Once, we were out for brunch and she did that. 12 hours later, I was prostrate in the bathroom with a nasty norovirus. And 12 hours after that, so was she! Norovirus is EXTREMELY contagious from things like shared food. But hey, at least we *both* got to lose 5 pounds....

Cook the Book: 'The Nourished Kitchen' by Jennifer McGruther

Homemade strawberry jam made from berries you go hand-pick yourself.

Quick Barbecue Beans

This is very similar to my mom's "calico beans" recipe. The main difference is she adds ground beef in addition to the bacon, and usually kidney beans in addition to the varieties you have listed.

Super Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

It sounds like a lot of people are having issues with laminated dough...which makes that whole recent debate about how INCREDIBLY EASY it's supposed to be to make puff pastry at home even more hilarious. It actually is somewhat tricky to make laminated dough your first few times. That said, here are a few tips for success:
1. Make sure all your butter pieces are well coated with flour when you are initially working the pieces into the dry ingredients.
2. You want everything cold, but not TOO cold. If your butter is super cold, it can tear through your dough when you roll it. This can make all the butter leak out during baking.
3. Watch the edges of your dough when you are rolling and folding. If you see chunks of butter poking through, your dough is too cold, let it sit out a bit before you continue. Patch any spots of butter sticking out with some flour, and do another fold and roll.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Welcome, Vicky! Great first post! That giant plate of breakfast and that crispy edged burger look SO DELICIOUS. Looking forward to a full report from Kenji on those. *drools on keyboard*

I loved the epic Pixel face. And Cricket is adorable as always, but....I am pretty sure Cricket is a "she" and not a "he"!!!

3 Recipes for Using Easy Blitz Puff Pastry

Yay! When I saw the recipe for blitz puff a few days ago, the first thing I thought of was apple turnovers!! And I think I might try that plum tart recipe, but with peaches instead! (But nobody judge me if I decide to make them with the Pepperidge Farm dough instead if I'm feeling lazy!)

Manner Matters: Should You Tattle on Kids Sneaking Food?

I would personally feel a little bit weirded out to talk to the girl's parent after the fact, I think there is too much chance of that coming off as either creepy or overly critical. Then again, it really depends on the personality of the parent and the closeness of the friendship. But I see nothing wrong with pointing out the behavior as it happens the next time you see them. (And if it's a regular behavior, it's quite likely she will do it again next time.)

The Best Sweets We Ate in May

3 years of working at a Dairy Queen in high school gave me a lifelong love for that crunch/fudge layer in the middle of their ice cream cakes...THAT stuff is pure crack.

As far as the past month goes, Costco started selling these croissant/cinnamon roll hybrids that are ridiculously delicious. They seem to magically appear in my cart every time I go there now...

Does Refrigeration Really Ruin Bread?

I don't mind if my bread gets a little's a good excuse to make French toast, bread pudding, stuffing, croutons.....yum.

What You Should Know About Eating Out With Allergies

I work in a restaurant that tries very hard to cater to all allergies (our primary customers are children). If someone tells us they are allergic to something, we will stop everything, clean the prep area, get out new dishes, open fresh packages of items, everyone washes hands/changes gloves, etc. All of these precautions tend to slow down the kitchen, resulting in diners having to wait longer for their food. We are happy to do that if it's necessary, but it's REALLY annoying and inconsiderate for a customer to put us through all that when they don't actually have an allergy (for example they "feel kinda bloated" if they eat a ton of gluten or they hate onions but are embarrassed to act picky and just ask for no onions). So many people are claiming allergies now, it's hard for the staff to know who is really serious. We always err on the safe side, but I'm sure there are other places who don't, which makes going out to eat more dangerous for those with legitimate allergies.

Two things for a diner with allergies to know (both things I have encountered):
1. If you order something special because you have an allergy, please understand your order may take longer than usual to prepare due to the precautions we have to take. Nothing is more frustrating for the server than to have a customer order a dish with extensive modifications, then complain at how long the food took to come out.
2. Don't be offended if we ask questions. We are not questioning the existence or legitimacy of your allergy, we are just trying not to make you ill. Many peoples "gluten allergy" is actually a mild intolerance or just a preference. We need to know that so we can tell you what *not* to order. I have had people snap at me for asking if they are able to eat items that have been made in a facility that also processes nuts, or cooked in a fryer that is also used for items containing gluten. Sample exchange: a woman asked what items were gluten free. I mentioned that the fries are gluten free, but they are cooked in the same fryer as the (gluten covered) chicken tenders. Reply: "Well, then they're NOT gluten free, then, are they?? Thanks for nothing!" Hey, we have to ask. Same for nut allergies. Some people can't eat nuts but are fine with items made in a facility that also processes nuts. And some people aren't. We are only asking so we can give you the widest possible range of items to choose from.

How to Make Juicy Turkey Burgers With Three Delicious Toppings

A turkey burger isn't too bad if you mix the meat with several minced garlic cloves and a good fistful of grated Parmesan cheese.

Win a Serious Eats Edition KettlePizza Baking Steel Combo for Father's Day!

Fresh veggies from the garden in the backyard....especially a variety of chiles!

Robyn Lee Is Leaving Serious Eats a Mere 7 1/2 Years After She Got Here

Robyn, I'm going to miss your illustrations and humor on this site SO MUCH!! I hope you will maybe send in some guest posts from time to time so we can see what you are up to! Also, my cats would like you to know that they have enjoyed attacking your GIFs on my iPad screen (omg it moved! Kill it!! Swat!)

The Best Egg Salad

My favorite vehicle for egg salad is squishy hot dog buns...less likely to lose lots of it to squishing out the sides that way. Also, I like Miracle Whip instead of mayo, lots of coarse black pepper, and I wouldn't say no to some bacon either.